Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Tapestries of Topics: Factors Affecting the Issue Diversity of Political Parties’ Social Media Campaigns

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For citizens to make well-informed decisions, they require information on diverse policy issues, which, among others, are publicized on political parties’ social media accounts. However, as strategic actors, parties carefully weigh which issues to highlight and which to play down, rather than addressing a full range of issues in their campaigns. We investigated the hitherto neglected question of which issue diversity parties prioritize on their social media accounts and which factors influence this choice. We conducted a standardized content analysis of the official Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts of 10 Norwegian parties and their leaders during the 2021 national election campaign. The results of our analyses indicate that issue-related campaign strategies influence parties’ issue diversity more systematically than parties’ governing/opposition statuses and their choices of social media platforms.

Keywords:  content analysis; election campaigning; issue diversity; issue ownership; Norway; platform comparison; riding the wave; social media


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© Melanie Magin, Anders Olof Larsson, Eli Skogerbø, Hedvig Tønnesen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.